Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The SBG name

On Saturdays, I like to play The Game. All my mates have already heard about The Game, but damn it, this is my hobbyhorse and I’m going to ride it until the wheels fall off. Or I get bored and start playing with my Barbie Campervan instead.

The Game involves looking through the birth notices in The Traumatiser for inappropriate baby names. When you find one, you yell it out to the nearest person (plus the spelling, because that’s often the best bit). If there’s no-one home, you text a mate so they too can be horrified.

You'll know an inappropriate baby name when you see one. It’s when people call their kids stuff like Amber Rain (how did no-one realise that was way too close to "Golden Shower"?) or Jaxxxson D. You can just imagine the weddings in about 25 years’ time: “Do you, Tulip Melodee Capri, take Diezel-Reef Rocky to be your lawful wedded husband?”

No. It’s just wrong and it has to stop.

When I was a kid, the worst thing that people could do was call their children Kylie or Darren. Now the possibilities are endless. “Hey, darl, let’s just make up some crap and call junior that! I know - Shanniyquw'aah would be really individual!” When kids were all called Jane or Robert, they made up rock’n’roll stage names like Pink and Eminem, but now what do they have? Sweet FA. These kids will be changing their names to Bill and Nancy to be different because their friends are all called Stelth Jet and Charlize-Trinity-Pi.

This phenomenon goes by many names, but my favourite is the one that a friend came up with: the shallow bush grave name. Giving a child a shallow bush grave name condemns him or her to a lifetime of socioeconomic disadvantage, at the very least; at the worst, it means an unmarked grave in a state forest.

When choosing a name for a new pet (yes, even goldfish), I like to use what I refer to as the doorstep test. Choose a name, then stand at the back door and yell it. Do you feel like a dick? If the answer is ‘yes’, choose another name for kitty. The same goes for kids. Come on, people, there’s no need for anyone to have a name that he or she will have to spell out every time they order a pizza FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. Have some sense of mercy.

There are so many different levels of wrongness with the current trend in children’s names. The South Australian department of Hatch, Match and Despatch has helpfully collected all the names given to children over the past few years on their web site. I spent a little time the other day going through the 2005 list, looking for examples, and all of these names are fair dink. Have a look for yourself: http://www.ocba.sa.gov.au/bdm/babynames.html. I needed several large vodka, lime and sodas afterwards to calm my nerves, but if just one child can be saved the indignity of being called Tae'lah, it will have been worth it.

Initials (in disguise or not) are just cruel:
Ajay, Arjay, Ceejay, J, MC, Tjay, Lakaya-K.

Dogs' names are also out. What if he or she grows up to become Prime Minster?
Ace, Astro, Bud, Dash, Duke, Jet, Coco, Lulu, Terriah.

Making a name by taking something random and adding “lyn”, “len”, “din”, “den”, “don”, “son”or “syn” also doesn’t work:
Acelyn, Baylen, Caelyn, Rocklyn, Shayden, Trenden.

Some kids are doomed to be bullied because their names are just not appropriate for anything past 45BC (or is that BCE? not that I'm politically correct, of course):
Adonis, Caesar, Lancelot, Neptune, Oberon, Aphrodite, Delilah, Isis.
Then there’s Latrelle, which is obviously made-up and not from the age before time, but dooms the poor kid to Chinese burns in the schoolyard anyway because it's a little close to 'latrine'.

Just because famous people chose arsehat names for their kids, doesn’t mean you should too:
Brooklyn, Romeo, Talon, Apple, Cruz, Mackenzie, Tigerlilly.

Thou shalt not name thy children from The Lord of the Rings or any other fantasy adventures.
Aelfric, Balen, Eldan, Haydar, Merlin, Odhinn, Shandor, Theoden, Thorin, Avalon.

Putting two crap names together with a hyphen doesn’t make the final effect any better:
Alvin-Aram, Blaize-Aanton, Coda-Ryley, Max-Shingo, Charm-Sahara, Cherkira-Anne, Rumour-Lilly, Shania-Shanni.

No, no, and no!

But they’re trees, man! Trees!
Aspen, Cypress, Huon, Jarrah, Acacia, Cedar, Oaklane, Sequoia, Grevillea.

It might have sounded cool on TV, but it won't work at kindy:
Alfie, Bond, Jorell (wasn’t that Superman’s dad?), Maximus (yes, we all liked Gladiator and thought Russell Crowe looked hot in leather, but it’s time to get over it now), Neo, Ripley, Trinity, Wyloe (that's 'Willow' to people who can spell), Xena, Leia.

Naming your child after a singer or actor will not guarantee them stage success and they probably still won’t want to talk to you when you are 64:
Axel, Cobain, Diesel, Duran (!), Jaggar, Jethro, Ozzy, Presley, Delta, Dusty, Mariah, Missy, Santanah, Shaniah, Sharday, Sinead, Chevvy, Deniro, Denzel, Dustin, Errol, Keanu, Marlon, Phoenix, River, Cameron, Demi, Jada, Sienna, Tatum, Charlize.

Destined to become US soap opera characters:
Beacher, Bracken, Clay, Dace, Reef, Riven, Saxon, Ocean, Nova, Onyx, Paisley, Serenity, Storm.

These are nicknames, not proper names. Think about it, parents - if you don't have a 'full' name like Charles or Robert or James, what will you yell when you're angry because your kid has shaved the cat or voted Liberal?
Banjo, Rusty, Skip.

Naming your child after alcohol is inappropriate (and even worse if you can’t spell it):
Bintang, Cooper, Jayga (I'm taking bets that the middle name is Mysta), Semyon, Karona.

Bikers and molls:
Blade, Blayde, Blaed, Blaze and Blayze, please leave the room.

Geographical names will not make your child look cosmopolitan:
Boston, Brooklyn, Cairo, Dakota, Dallas, Indiana, Memphis, Utah, Bethlehem, Bonneyville, Calais, Chyna, Cierra, Daytona, Decoda, Denver, Devon (or could that be after the NSW version of fritz?), Havanah, Indianna, Jemaica, Karolina, London, Montana, Sahara, Savannah, Tarlee, Yarra (at least these two are Aussie, I guess), Tennessee, Vienna, Indiya, Kenya, Oceania (a city or a country not enough? Then why not go for a whole soccer region!)

Changing “er” for “ah” just makes the kid sound just a little “special”:
Connah, Tylah, Ambah, Summah, Taylah.

Pure trailer trash:
Jad, Jachlan, Jailin, Jaimon, Jarren, Jaxon, Jhyrelle, Jodon, Kheshawn, Lyjones, Neshaun, Raiden, Taiyne, Tallyn, Tjarell, Tyreese, Aneisha, Chenael, Chinae, Darillinna, Jaelah, Jakyrah, Jamelia, Jarnilla, Jaskan, Jenisa, Kimjoline, La-Shay, Laytish, Schenise, Starla.

In the ghetto (for a girl this should end in ‘sha’, but often starts with ‘Ch’ or ‘Sh’, ‘K’ or ‘La’):
Chaniqua, Dayischa, Kaleesha, Keenisha, Lakeisha, Letaiiya, Shakahna, Shakeita, Shaytana, Shontayah, Tallaylah, Ditanyia.

Stripper names (girls only): Angel, Electra, Destiny, Breeze, Cameo, Emerald, Fuscia, Ginger, Gypsy, Honey, Jazelle, Jewel, Khushi, Kiki, Kalypso, Misty, Necta, Sapphire, Star, Wynter, Jazz, Liberty, Rain, Lotus.

Random apostrophes = bad (see also Pure Trailer Trash and In the Ghetto):
John’Anton, A’Janae, Da’jah, E’Lyssia, T’Leeah, T’Kira, T’nesha, Tae’lah.

Crimes against spelling (or how to force your kid to spell out his or her name for the rest of his or her life):
Kacper, Kamran, Kyrahn, Naython, Raighne, Rhyeleigh, Jorja, Mackayla, Penellape, Porscha, Sermone, Melleny.

Come on, man, you just made that crap up!
Xayde, Xyen, Ved, Tyryn, Tahnyl, Quratulain (this may be foreign and therefore not strictly an SBG name, but nothing with a ‘rat’ in it can be good), Tjayanga, Brightlyn, Charmony, Dagny, Jaskan, Jezalia, Opriss, Tohlea.

“Darl, listen to this one! It sounds so classy!”
Ashanti, Caprice, Chanel, Chevelle, Chetine, Danique, Dior, Magenta, Mercedes, Ritz, Qamarah (no, babe, it doesn’t sounds like a sweet potato!)

Now banned from overuse (in all their spellings) and because I’m just bored with them:
Jessica, Jordan, Madison, Bailey, Lachlan, Jayden, Michaela, Nikita, Scarlett, Brianna.

WTF, man?
God-Li, Knowledge, Sheriff, Elordy.

I have no more words
Stelth, Tornado, Zenith, Zeplyn, Akaylah, Justus, Celtic, Axiom, Terra (Terror? Do you really want your daughter to be stopped at every airport in the western world?)

Some of the South Australians who named their kids in 2005 obviously got some ideas from this site. It’s great. Really. http://www.babynameworld.com/unique.asp



At 7:37 pm, September 11, 2006, Blogger audrey said...

Woot! First comment on a new blog.

I hate apostrophe names.

I am honestly surprised that noone has named their child Bootylicious, especially considering their is a Knowledge running around out their somewhere. And children with stripper names are just plain embarrassing.

At 1:33 pm, September 15, 2006, Blogger PetStarr said...

"Stelth Jet and Charlize-Trinity-Pi"


Fucking fantastic.

At 1:09 pm, November 17, 2006, Blogger Scorpy said...

This is absloutely brilliant...tragic...but Brilliant. Well done!

At 1:28 pm, November 17, 2006, Blogger redcap said...

Heh. Thanks Scorpy :)

At 7:53 pm, January 08, 2007, Anonymous MikeFitz said...

Excellent analysis. I've been watching the SBG names come and go from your home page. Are you keeping an archive of them somewhere?

All this reminds me of a young couple (both smart-arse solicitors) who, some 20 years ago, named their son Loy. They did this deliberately because it is a name that cannot be abbreviated, nor can it be lengthened. Michael can be abbreviated to Mike. Mike can be lengthened to Mikey. Try saying "Loy-ey". It will never happen.

Anyhow, their cunning plan worked perfectly all through kindy and pre-school. Unfortunately, on day 1 of year 1 at primary school, little Loy came home in tears. "Mummy, Daddy! All the kids are calling me 'Savvy'!"

And I bet when he now orders pizza it's all: "No, not Lloyd, Loy! L-O-Y! Lima Oscar Yankee! Oh, stuff it, just write Oscar."

And now that he's in his 20's, how many jokes has he suffered about his 'saveloy', just because his parents tried to be smart?

At 3:29 am, March 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to visit http://bigbadbabynames.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59409 and hang out with like-minded souls... We already love you over there!

Great Comments!

At 11:13 am, March 27, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

Anon, ooh, I've got fans?! Thanks! I'll stop by for a lurk :)

At 11:05 pm, March 31, 2007, Blogger David said...

Uh...that post is hilarious!

At 9:52 pm, April 01, 2007, Blogger Liz said...

I'm so glad I've stumbled across your blog. I needed a good laugh.
Last year we lived in Zambia. Whilst most of the local black people were named Biblical names (even Meshek), we encounted a couple of unusual ones.
They are Photcopier, Kenwood, Talktime, Study, East, Easily, Radium, Scholastica and Joffrey.

At 10:16 pm, April 01, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

David, glad it amused :)

Liz, wow, those are gold! I just came home from Africa. I looked in the birth notices in South Africa and was very disappointed to see that they don't list the baby's name. We came across some great biblical names, like Moses, but they just seem kinda cool on black guys - somehow they can carry them better than white boys. But Kenwood, Talktime and SCHOLASTICA? Wow, I take my hat off! ;)

At 2:37 am, May 06, 2007, Blogger mikeandmcgee said...

If anyone ever creates a test that you must pass for parenthood, it ought to include the question, "what do you plan to name your child?" If the names listed include God-li, Stelth Jet, Sushi, Kacper or anything else mentioned on your blog entry, you automatically fail.

People seem to forget that we're not naming dolls or stuffed animals. We're naming HUMAN BEINGS for crying out loud! How is little Mista Delorian (yes, this is a real name I found listed in a newspaper birth announcement) going to feel about HIS (yes, someone really named a boy this) name in 30 years?

At 5:57 pm, May 12, 2007, Blogger redcap said...

mikeandmcgee, Mista Delorean? Oh, sweet Jesus. That really is cruel and unusual! What if he becomes PM?

At 6:35 pm, June 21, 2007, Blogger River said...

I have a stuffed baby chimpanzee (toy, not the real thing) named Harvey Banana, is that okay? Love your writings.

At 12:39 pm, December 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey there folks.. I was named Nova Emma (1982) and recently named my daughter Havanah Isis (2006)... I dont think ours are anywhwere near as bad as most of the names you have listed.. but then that is just one opinion I guess.. great site though!

At 7:59 pm, December 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey,read your blog..kinda cool....my names quratulain....n it doesnt sound odd(probably becoz where i am from it is a common name)
quick info-anybody named quratulain is usually called by their short...Annie....

At 10:37 am, January 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2006 on the OCBA site isn't any better...

Bands: Jamiriqui [sic], Linkin, Hendrix, Experience (would be funny if they married...)

Sports: Beckham, Shaquille, Iverson

"Alternative": Atticus, Zephyr, Spiral-Moon, Lucafer [sic] (lol)

Too Much TV: Buffy, Krillin

Not A Proper Noun?!: The, Le, My

Wino: Zinfandel

At 4:25 am, August 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to kill myself for reading this waste of space, I suggest all who come after me do the same.

At 12:40 pm, August 02, 2008, Blogger redcap said...

Anon, yes, but you read it, didn't you, dumb nut? And please do be my guest. Razor blade, pills or the gas oven if you think you're a poet.

At 1:39 pm, December 12, 2011, Anonymous Rachel said...

A teacher friend of mine once taught an Indie Anna Jones. True Story. There are some scary sad people out there.


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